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The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill

Lauryn Hill

1998

The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill
Album Summary

The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill is the debut solo album by American singer and rapper Lauryn Hill. It was released on August 25, 1998, by Ruffhouse Records and Columbia Records. The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill is a neo soul and R&B album with some songs based in hip hop soul and reggae. Its lyrics touch upon Hill's pregnancy and the turmoil within her former group the Fugees, along with themes of love and God. The album's title was inspired by the film and autobiographical novel The Education of Sonny Carson, and Carter G. Woodson's The Mis-Education of the Negro. After touring with the Fugees, Hill became involved in a romantic relationship with Jamaican entrepreneur Rohan Marley, and shortly after, became pregnant with their child. This pregnancy, as well as other circumstances in her life, inspired Hill to make a solo album. Recording sessions for the album took place from late 1997 to June 1998 mainly at Tuff Gong Studios in Kingston, as Hill collaborated with a group of musicians known as New Ark in writing and producing the songs. The album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart, selling over 422,000 copies in its first week, which broke a record for first-week sales by a female artist. It was promoted with the release of the hit singles "Doo Wop (That Thing)", "Ex-Factor", and "Everything Is Everything", while "Lost Ones" and "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" were released as promotional singles. To further promote the album, Hill made televised performances on Saturday Night Live and the Billboard Music Awards before embarking on a sold-out, worldwide concert tour. The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill was among the most acclaimed albums of 1998, as most critics praised Hill's presentation of a woman's view on life and love, along with her artistic range. At the 41st Annual Grammy Awards, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill earned 10 nominations, winning five awards, making Hill the first woman to receive that many nominations and awards in one night. The album's success propelled Hill to international superstardom, and contributed to bringing hip hop and neo soul to the forefront of popular music. New Ark, however, felt Hill and her record label did not properly credit the group on the album; a lawsuit filed by the group was settled out of court in 2001. Since its release, the album has been ranked in numerous best-album lists, with a number of critics regarding it as one of the greatest albums of the 1990s, as well as one of the greatest albums of all time. Among its honors are inclusion in Rolling Stone magazine's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list, Harvard University's Loeb Music Library, the Smithsonian National Museum of African American history, and the Library of Congress' National Recording Registry. In 2021, the album was certified Diamond by the Recording Industry Association of America, for estimated sales of 10 million copies in the US, making Hill the first female rapper to accomplish this feat. Worldwide, the album has sold over 20 million copies, making it one of the best-selling albums of all time, the best-selling album by a female rapper, and the best-selling neo-soul album of all time. It remains Hill's only studio album.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.64

Votes

11668
Genres
Hip Hop
Soul

Reviews

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Fri Mar 19 2021
5

We listened to music in your dorm room early into the morning as the empathogens from the night faded. You played this Lauren Hill album. We talked about family. We talked about friends. We talked about love. We talked about your early life in Botswana. When the song To Zion came on, we became silent as it felt like the world stopped for us to listen. It was the most beautiful song I had heard. Soon the dorm came to life and it was time for me to go. That was our first and last time meeting. It was my first and last time listening to this song. It was the last time until today. This was the most beautiful song I've heard. I can't remember being this touched by a song before. Ten stars.

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Mon Jan 25 2021
1

avoids melody like she avoids tax

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Mon Feb 15 2021
3

This album was everywhere when it was released, the hype was crazy. It was hailed as this ground breaking thing, the best of the best, it won all the awards. It's decent enough, a fairly pleasant listen, but I never did understand why all the over the top praise for it. It's fine.

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Wed Apr 07 2021
5

Lauryn Hill is iconic in her genre, and this is her most iconic album. A great inspiration for a lot of RnB and Hip Hop artists in the 00s and 10s. Many people may dislike the skits, but it adds to the narrative here, which has a complex backdrop of different samples and instruments, overlayed on hard kicks and beats that you expect from Hip Hop / R n B. All of it blends to give a truly 00s sound ahead of it's time. I could give a break down of every song but it would take too many words. Just know that there is a lot of range here, there is everything from acoustic guitar and gospel over beats, to more funky soulful tracks. I love this album if you haven't noticed already.

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Sat Jan 16 2021
5

Great stuff. A great mix of different genres. Heard elements of Stevie Wonder, Curtis Mayfield, Bob Marley etc. It's got really good flow throughout the whole album too. Ex Factor and Doo Wop stand out but no miss on the whole album. A shame it was her only solo studio album, maybe she felt like she couldn't top it.

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Wed Mar 24 2021
2

starts off sounding like lofi then becomes funny woman rap..... k. second track pretty good. i guess the third track is ok. fith track is shit :). everything lowkey starting to sound the same. track 12 has a good backing i wanna say its a violoin but like its ruined by shit and isnt enough. holy shit too many repeated lrlishs please help stop -please. right i know you baught a drum mechiene but i dont care please use somehting elese please. the ends allright i guess but still shit album shit house 0/10. but accualy its fine i guess not my thing but yea still personlay its a but too much of the same and becasue its stuff of the same that i dont reely like its not good so still 2/10

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Wed Mar 24 2021
5

This album is a masterpiece. Lauryn Hill's transcendent talent is on full display with top notch songwriting, beat-making, arranging, lyricism, singing, and rapping. The music is personal, political, and utterly self-assured. Her blend of hip hop innovation and classic soul/pop sensibilities has left a monumental legacy evident in artists ranging from Kayne West to Janelle Monae. Favourite track: Too many to name, but I can never get enough of "Ex-Factor"

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Sun Aug 06 2023
3

By 1998, I was pretty much out of tune with a lot of mainstream American culture. Obviously, not to the point where I didn’t know who Lauryn Hill or the Fugees were, this record and The Score were massively popular among my peers at my Catholic high school, but I was going to see punk and hardcore shows for $5 or $7 at the local VFW. The idea of following what was popular or which star was on top week to week was futile and uninteresting to me. It’s just not the lane I operated in. Still isn’t, as a matter of fact. So, as I listen to this record, I’m finding it well crafted, well performed (I always thought Lauryn Hill had a fantastic voice) and engaging. It has held up extremely well for a 25 year old record. It’s definitely enjoyable and I understand why it was and still is considered great. I think maybe the classroom interstitial breaks are a little overdone and the flow of the record is stilted as a result, but that’s a minor complaint. The thing is, music like this doesn’t really resonate with me like it does for a lot of the world. I don’t know why that is. I love a lot of hip hop, r&b, and soul music. It is something I think about a lot: what is it about some well produced, objectively great popular music that doesn’t move the needle for me? Maybe it’s that even when it’s making a bold statement like the Miseducation of Lauryn Hill does, it still feels…kind of safe? That could be a great strength, though, like a wolf in sheep’s clothing. (Huh, wow…that metaphor literally just came up in “Forgive them Father” - I might be closer to the truth than I thought). Maybe I need to take that view for a record like this. Yes, it is designed to appeal to as many people as possible, but it’s got a message that subverts and questions cultural norms…and that is an important an admirable trait for a record to have.

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Tue Feb 09 2021
2

Nowhere near as good as people think it is. 3 or 4 decent songs the rest is filler. A bang average R&B album.

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Mon Jan 25 2021
1

A real struggle to get through. Headache-inducing and painful to listen to (not in a good way). Faves-Forgive Them Father slightly less grating than some of the others. Actually, second half of the album may be a little less irritating. Still absolutely hated it, overall.

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Wed Jun 23 2021
5

Still probably the best female MC of all time. This album is fantastic in about every way. Lauryn is also the most equal in talent between rapping and singing

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Sat Feb 20 2021
2

Way worse than I remembered it to be

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Mon Apr 12 2021
2

Not a fan of this, I'm getting bored listening to it.

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Fri Oct 09 2020
5

Modern classic. Perfect blend of neo-soul and rap. All the singles are fantastic, especially Everything Is Everything

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Fri Apr 15 2022
4

A great mix of hip-hop with R&B, soul and reggae. This is such a confident and skillful debut and has a great legacy for a very good reason

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Sun Dec 19 2021
2

I remember this being really popular when it came out, but I thought it was shit. It was everywhere for some reason. Yeah, still shit. Just boring rap/r&b, riddled with dumb skits and of fucking COURSE it goes for over an hour. Didn't anyone in this genre take any interest in quality control after about 1993? Fuck's sake. 2/5.

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Sun Jan 23 2022
2

Most overrated album of the last decades

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Fri Aug 05 2022
2

Really disappointed with this, expected it to blow me away but found it mostly annoying

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Sat Aug 27 2022
2

Doo Wop (that thing) is a cracking track... The rest of this album gets boring real quick. Urgh. The cover songs are genuinely awful.

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Sat Sep 09 2023
2

I had my expectations set way too high for this one. It has some really lovely moments but you have to sit through some really boring moments to get to them. I will try revisiting when I'm stoned later and see if that changes anything.

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Fri Jan 14 2022
1

Woooooahhhhhh wooooaaaahhhhhh one star

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Mon Jan 24 2022
1

Could this album be any longer? I get that this is a progressive album hearing life perspectives from the female side, and the whole classroom vibe at the end of some of the songs being about learning fitting into the vibe of the album cover and title. But sheesh it gave me a headache and almost put me to sleep at work. Any way something could have been cut from it's 77 minute track list? Best: Can't Take My Eyes Off You (I Love You Baby) Worst: When It Hurts So Bad

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Tue Mar 29 2022
1

made my morning feel like a month

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Wed Nov 02 2022
1

Pre listening - I'm not going to like this. I detest rap and dislike hip hop - I hope this is better than that. Track 1 - Intro - 40 seconds and not even a pretence of bring music Track 2 - Lost Ones - Standard hip hop - awful Track 3 - Ex-Factor - OK song, but with really annoying sound efects added - why? Track 4 - To Zion - A Santana collaboration - which is to say pure Carlos Santana - average for him Track 5 - Doo Wop(That Thing) More hip hop - slightly better than Lost Ones Track 6 - Superstar yet more Hip Hop - irritating At this point I stopped. She obviously is a hip hop artist, which is a shame because from what I heard she has good voice, just needs some real music

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Mon Nov 09 2020

really not a fan. two stars? i made it through, but barely.

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Tue Jan 19 2021
5

Straight fire. Classic through and through.

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Thu Jan 14 2021
5

Didn't like it at first, but it's a masterpiece

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Fri Apr 30 2021
5

One of the tip top hip hop albums of all times. Magnificent.

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Mon Feb 01 2021
5

Classic hip-hop album. Great R&B vibes with great writing and rap over the beats

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Wed Jan 13 2021
5

The classroom samples were really cool and furthered the message of love. After looking at the background of the album I had a greater appreciation for Laura and her life struggles. Never really got into soul but I think this was a good introduction

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Thu Jan 14 2021
5

A fantastic collection of what the 90s hip hop sound was.

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Fri Jul 30 2021
5

Her only solo album, and it continues to have more impact and appeal than many other artists have in their entire careers. Your mileage may vary on the brief interludes interspersed throughout the album (I'll admit, I'd rather they weren't included, but thankfully there aren't so many that they become annoying), but my God, there's not a clunker in the bunch of songs. I can't get enough of "Ex-Factor" and "When It Hurts So Bad". Reminds me a lot of Nina Simone, Nenah Cherry and even Joni Mitchell while still being it's own unique thing. This album deserves the praise it continues to receive, and my hunch is a major reason Lauryn Hill never really even tried to make another album is because she knew nothing could top this. By the way, my rating takes into consideration the 2 hidden tracks: the cover of "Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You" and "Tell Him". They might be my 2 favorite Lauryn Hill songs, and they're what puts the album over the top into 5 territory.

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Tue Mar 15 2022
5

Annie loves this one. For good reason. It's a crown jewel of 90s hip hop, right? And, Lauryn Hill is just so cool. Babe too. Sister Act 2 babeliness. Her voice is so great. Raps and melodies. And, just, like, the smoky sound of her voice is so appealing. This record jams. As a musician, I'm inclined to attribute this to her excellent band. But really, it's 80% Hill. She carries everything, including the Fugees. This record makes that clear. Her multi-tracked vocal harmonies are other-worldly. She uses harmony intervals that set her apart from others. Like CSNY and Alice in Chains do. Only with soul and attitude and smokiness. God this is so good.

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Mon Jan 23 2023
5

It took me a while to process "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill" and decide how to review it, just like it takes a while for Lauryn Hill to show up for her concerts. But regardless of the many meandering journeys Hill's career has taken since the release of this album, it remains a masterpiece. There are a few duds scattered among the 16 tracks, but there are so many standout classics that a boring track or two can be excused. The most interesting thing about "Miseducation," though, is Hill's ability to reach such a peak only to never find it again. There have been plenty of one-hit wonders, but Hill's output with the Fugees and in her solo debut go well beyond one-hit status, but the twists and turns of her career and life have prevented audiences and fans from ever really seeing if she could sustain the success through a second album and beyond. It's fairly common for a musician to have a hit and then fade away, but it feels much less common for a singer to create such a masterpiece and then have no meaningful follow-up.

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Thu Jul 01 2021
4

Quite clearly a fantastic album. This time through I noticed the musical flourishes, that are a little tricky to pick up when you’re too busy being wowed by Hill’s seamless transitions between forceful rhyming and soulful singing. I’m talking about that feeling in Lost Ones that the whole song is about to blow up, but the firm hand on the production that prevents it from doing so; I’m talking about the background voices that make Doo Wop (That Thing) sound like a hmm-ing room full of girlfriends. My only gripe, and it’s a mild one, is that I don’t quite feel the album sustains it all the way through, but when it hits it hits hard.

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Mon Feb 20 2023
4

The album is so human. I don't know how else to put it. It acknowledges and adresses many of the things that influence us, religion, school, our peers, societal constructs. The beats are driving and the songs were written in the context of each other in a way that is missing from many albums. This was a cohesive project and tells a clear (and well articulated) story from beginning to end.

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Fri Jan 15 2021
5

A god damned masterpiece, too many good songs to name.

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Fri Apr 30 2021
5

Not sure I've ever listened to this album in entirety - it was so TIGHT. Loved it. Varied too

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Sat Jan 16 2021
5

Lauryn Hill is the greatest female hip-hop artist of all time, and she shows her range and how powerful her voice is all over this album. So many tracks could have and should have been released as singles, it made me wonder why they weren’t. The classroom chatter between tracks was a nice touch, cementing the overall idea of the album, and also serving as a buffer between wildly different sounding songs.

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Wed Feb 03 2021
5

I have heard this CD so many times, so I'm a bit biased. I love this album, i love the vibe, these bass and drum grooves are so good it is just awe inspiring. There are very few albums that can send me away for an hour this is one of them. You can't...not just relax and chill out when you hear this album. Love, God, Friendship, Life, Growing Up thoughtfully expressed expertly, what more do you want in an album. It's a shame this is her only album. Top 3: Killing me softly, Can't take my eyes off of you, Hurts so bad. 5 out of 5

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Fri Feb 12 2021
5

When this album dropped it changed everything. While female artists had created new frontiers of courage and vulnerability (Liz Phair), this was both poetic and musically powerful. Every song matters and the diversity of rhythm, melody and harmonics is standard setting.

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Sat Jan 16 2021
5

I like this album. An album to the liberated self

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Wed Apr 07 2021
5

Had four listens, it's a bit of a long one and still need to listen more grasp it all. Importantly, every song is great, I prefer the songs with rapping ("Lost Ones", "Doo Wop", "Final Hour") because they flow incredibly well, but the more emotional RnB stuff is really good too. When Lauryn is not rapping she's pushing her voice to its full most of the time, with some very smooth backing. It doesn't just jump between two genres though, because you feel influences from afro-carribean vocals (lost ones, forgive them father) Latin flamenco guitar (to zion), pyschadelic guitar solo (ex-factor), soul/gospel organ keys (ex-factor and every ghetto every city), 90s rap record scratches/skips (throughout) and just excellent bass lines (throughout). There's so much variety, and the skits actually have music in them which really makes them feel more listenable, not to mention that the subject matter is pretty wholesome (LOVE). Shout out to that familiar piano sample in "Doo Wop", Hammond will have to tell me where that comes from.

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Sun May 16 2021
5

This is an incredible album. 10/10. 5 stars.

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Wed Mar 24 2021
5

Soul, hip-hop and reggae Queen. This album feels so spiritual and is arguably the most influential record of the decade on future rap and hip hop artists (see Kendrick, Drake, Kanye, Chance, etc. etc. etc.) Fav tracks: Ex-Factor, Everything is Everything, Doo Wop (That Thing)

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Fri Apr 30 2021
5

Possibly my favourite album ever made

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Sat Mar 06 2021
5

My favourite album so far. Girls got bars!!

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Wed Mar 24 2021
5

Very good, old school hip hop from one of the GOATS

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Thu Jun 03 2021
5

Really glad I finally listened to this classic

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Tue May 11 2021
5

Wow. Just wow. I'd heard this album was great, and very influential, and now I can see why. I don't even have the words to say how good this album is. 5/5 stars.

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Fri May 07 2021
5

90s classic, absolutely fire beats and smoooooth vocals from Ms. Lauryn Hill as usual, lots of influence on today's music and rightfully so, favs - Doo Wop (That Thing), Ex-Factor, Final Hour

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Mon Jun 14 2021
5

One of the best hip-hop albums of all time!

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Wed Jul 21 2021
5

Could legit talk for hours about Lauryn Hill. Especially this album. I think it's as classic as an album can get. And the fact that is her only studio Album genuinely breaks my heart. But the influence on music this album had. Changed the pace of both Rnb and Hip-hop and really showed that Lauryn was to be respected as a MC. I really believe she was the best part of the Fugees. This album has this beautiful mixture of Reggae. especially since she worked with Bob Marleys son. Add in some blues, hip-hop, and a dash of heart break and you really get something amazing. Lauryn Hill absolutely proved herself on this one. ​ This to me get the highest rating an album get. Love it so much. Will always get a recommend from me. Check this one out.

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Tue Jun 15 2021
5

A nearly perfect hip hop/R&B record. Kinda wild this was released in 1998.

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Sat Aug 07 2021
5

9/10. Would be a 10 but for the skits. For the past 15 years I have been saying I will make a version with the skits removed. Maybe this will be the year I get round to it. Rapping, singing, production all on point.

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Wed Aug 18 2021
5

Thought I liked this one but in listening to it again I think I love it. Never owned this one back in the day cause one of my roommates had it and it was so ubiquitous anyway. But this really is a masterfully crafted album of it's era. Got that "cinematic" Fugees sound steeped in soul. It's impressive that she carries the weight of this long album pretty much single handedly. Though I love Wyclef's The Carnival, this may be the best Fugees solo album. Easily my favorite female hip hop artist and one of my favorite albums by a female artist. So strong, so honest, so intense. Feels deeply personal. She gave it her all on this album. In a class of her own.

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Wed Aug 18 2021
5

Fantastic album, love it! Shocking how small of a discography she has given the huge impact she has had on the world of music.

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Thu Sep 09 2021
5

This album is massive, and dense, and really great. It’s not surprising that she hasn’t followed it up yet.

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Thu Sep 09 2021
5

This album made me want to turn on my keyboards and play some soul/r&b all day. Excellent arrangements and vocals

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Wed Sep 15 2021
5

This album brought a flood of teenage memories. I had this album on repeat as background music. The lyrics are so, so personal. And that's probably why they are powerful. Hill doesn't hide anything and lays all of her emotions out for the listener. It's so different than what most girls are taught. She doesn't keep it inside. I remember thinking how brave and crazy that was when I first listened to the album. She vocalizes her broken love in the way you always wish you could have retorted in the moment and still better than what you come up with hours later when you lay awake thinking of what you should have, could have said. Hill's singing and rapping flow together so well. There is no "bad" song on the album. "To Zion" is the love song every mother feels when she meets baby and realizes she has never loved anyone the way she loves that child. And it features Carlos Santana as an added bonus.

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Tue Sep 28 2021
5

Rating: 9/10 Best songs: Southern point, Two weeks, Fine for now, Ready,able,

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Wed Sep 29 2021
5

Really enjoyed this album. A general mix of rap, hip hop and even R&B. Very classy. I just want to know what happens if Ms Lauryn Hill gets married and becomes Mrs Lauryn Hill? Would she change her stage name? Hmmm

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Thu Sep 30 2021
5

great listening throughout the day

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Thu Sep 30 2021
5

I can't believe I haven't listened to this before but I will be again. The perfect chill album.

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Fri Oct 29 2021
5

This may be one of the most perfect albums made. Between the theme, lyrics, beats, and hooks it doesn’t get more consistent and monumental than this album. Hill created one solo album and it’s arguably one of the best ever made. Such a shame she didn’t do more but what she provided was nothing short of historically significant. 10/10

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Wed Nov 10 2021
5

Lauryn Hill is insanely talented. She can sing, and she has one of the greatest flows in the game. Her songwriting is textured and deals with more complexity than her contemporaries. This album shows Hill navigating her life, love, the expectations of others, and her own strength to define who she is for herself. This album has already become a modern classic and it’s easy to see why.

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Thu Nov 18 2021
5

This is a great R&B album. Start to Finish, enjoyable tracks with some great variations in sound and feel. This genre is not my typical listen, but it’s a best in show album.

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Tue Nov 23 2021
5

Heel goede r en b met mooi love thema en zonder teveel gefoefel heel eerlijk

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Mon Dec 20 2021
5

Always a great listen. Voice is so purely amazing.

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Fri Dec 24 2021
5

Listened on repeat while making dinner and then for some time after. It’s as moving and beautiful and touching and soulful and ground-breaking now as it was almost 25 years ago. We’re all sad she never did anything but this album, but LH can do whatever she wants with her talent, and I’m grateful we got this out of it.

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Fri Dec 24 2021
5

Iconic. Possibly one of the most iconic albums of all time. Soulful, bopping, energetic and refined all at once. Easiest call yet.

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Sat Jan 01 2022
5

It is a crime that she never released another album.

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Mon Jan 17 2022
5

She's super talented and switches effortlessly between rapping and singing in a number of styles. Bit hard to rate this one as I was introduced to this album by my first serious girlfriend, so it's tangled up in my melon heart biz. I did really like the listen through, though. The classroom intermissions felt immersive rather than flow-breaking, like the skits often popular on hip-hop albums from this era. There are some absolute tunes on here, too... Fave track - "Forgive Them Father", maybe? "Everything is Everything" is a contender, and "To Zion" and "Doo Wop (That Thing)" are both very strong too! Fuck it, 5 stars!

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Tue Jan 18 2022
5

A masterpiece. Hip-Hop, RnB, Soul just brilliant, an album that has lasted and will continue the last the test of time and will influence many more to come. 5 Stars.

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Mon Feb 07 2022
5

I already listened to this one a bunch in my teens because of my friends. Lauryn is straight up a goddess. This was a formative album for so many people i know. I wasn't into rap or hiphop R&B back then. But since then i've learned to love it, too.

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